Walking your dog is one of the most rewarding activities for your dog since it provides him with many benefits, such as exercise, socialization, sightseeing, and many more. But when your dog only wants to walk with you, this can be challenging for you since you might not be able to walk him all the time.
It makes you wonder why your dog only wants to go for a walk with you? In order to shed some light on these questions, we’ve come up with a list of possible reasons for that behavior.
Your dog only wants to walk with you because he does not trust anyone who is not his Alpha. Mistreatment by his dog walkers makes him afraid of them. He wants to help you guard the house when you are not around, so he is not going anywhere. He wants to be there for you when you reach home and won’t leave the house. He finds it more rewarding to walk with you.
He Does Not Trust Anyone Who Is Not His Alpha
It is natural for dogs to feel more comfortable around people they know and trust, so if you have been taking care of your dog for some time, he feels more at ease being around you.
For that reason, when you’re not around to take him for a walk, your dog will naturally resist others for fear that they’ll take him away from you.
He would rather stay at home than go for a walk without you.
To address this issue, you will need to train him to feel comfortable and safe around your family members, particularly the ones who will take him on a walk without you.
You can delegate the task of feeding your dog to that person. By doing so, your dog will gradually become more willing to accept this person as he learns that this person provides for his basic needs and is taking good care of him.
Mistreatment by His Dog Walkers Makes Him Frightened
Your family members may have mistreated your dog while you’re away. This causes him to become increasingly scared of them and avoid them. This explains why he is not willing to go on a walk with them, as he fears that he will be abandoned by them.
Furthermore, your dog will growl or bark constantly at them whenever they approach, and he will often stay in his crate while you are away from home.
Look out for these signs to determine whether your dog is feeling fear or anxiety:
- A flattened ear.
- Licking his paws and lips excessively.
- Tucking his tail between his hind legs.
- A raised neck hair.
- Staying away from eye contact.
- Persistent self-scratching.
If he had been mistreated by your family members, it might be challenging to overcome his fear of them.
You will need to start him on positive reinforcement training and make him associate being with them to be a rewarding experience.
Naturally, this will take time, and your family members will need to be involved in the training as well.
His Duty to Guard the House When You’re Not There
If your dog is a guarding dog breed, such as a German Shepherd, Rottweiler or Doberman Pinscher, he will feel the need to protect your home when you are absent.
Even though there are other family members in the house, he will still remain on the premises till you are back home.
That’s because your dog regards you as his alpha and when the leader is not around, he will take up the responsibility and duty to guard his territory (which is your house). That explains why he is not willing to step out of the house and go for a walk.
And when he sees you back home, he will relinquish his “guarding” duty and follow you wherever you go, including a walk with you.
He Wants to Greet You Right Away When You Get Home
Your dog doesn’t want to miss your arrival and wants to greet you the very moment you reach home. That’s why he doesn’t want to leave the house for a walk.
He’ll probably be eagerly waiting for your return near the door.
Bear in mind that if your dog starts showing anxiety and stress when you are not with him, it is very likely that he might have developed a behavioral problem known as separation anxiety.
Keep a watch-out for the following separation anxiety symptoms to determine if your dog is suffering from this disorder:
- Getting nervous, sobbing, or shaking when you’re gone or about to leave.
- Frequent barking or yelping.
- Behaviors that destroy objects, such as chewing or digging.
- Defecating or urinating in the house.
If you notice any of these signs in your dog, you will need to determine the underlying cause of his behavior and work on addressing his anxiety disorder.
It could be the case that you have been spending less time with your dog, and he is feeling a sense of being neglected. This grows his fear and anxiety that you are ditching him when you leave him alone.
Work on boosting his confidence to be alone and show him that you love and care for him.
You will need to spend more time with him to show him your affection and accompany him on all his favorite activities.
You can make this happen by doing simple activities such as playing fetch with him, taking him for a walk or even giving him a treat when he is behaving well.
It makes him feel that you care about him and that you will always be there for him if he needs you.
To build up his confidence to be alone, come up with a consistent training schedule to train him to be on his own.
Create a cozy spot at home where he can feel comfortable and safe when he is alone. Since dogs often regard crates as their dens, a crate would be the best choice.
Begin your training by leaving your dog alone for 5 minutes and rewarding him for good behavior if he stays calm. As he reacts well to the training, gradually increase the duration.
You can accomplish this by using a technique called positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement refers to rewarding your dog when he does something right. You can reward him with a small treat, praise or a pet on his chest.
By doing this, he’ll be motivated to keep doing the things he’s good at.
He Finds It More Rewarding to Walk with You
Taking a walk with you might be more satisfying for your dog than with other dog walkers. This is because you let him sniff around the trees, take him to places he likes and reward him with treats for the walk.
Other dog walkers just take him for a routine walk around a quiet neighborhood, which bores him.
It is also possible that they are pulling him with a leash that is causing him great discomfort and showing signs of frustration whenever he stops to explore his surroundings.
It may also be too long a walk for your dog if it lasts for more than two hours.
All these factors make him dislike walking with other dog walkers, as he associates it with an unpleasant experience.
Generally, dogs should be physically active for 30 minutes to two hours a day. Even though it can be done in one walk, most people opt to spread it out over two or three walks throughout the day.
This, of course, will also have to take into consideration factors such as the age and physical condition of your dog.
You won’t want to take your older dog (more than 10 years old) for a 2 hours walk that a young, healthy dog can handle as he may be experiencing joint discomfort due to aging.
So if your dog walkers aren’t aware of these considerations, it could make your dog resist any walk with them.